Did you know that exercise affects the brain in multiple ways? So, for example, when your heart rate increases, it pumps more oxygen to the brain, helping to maintain a healthy brain! But here’s the interesting part…apparently, different types of exercise will affect your memory, your concentration, and your cognitive functions. With our Quiz Night for our nominated charity, BTRS, coming up, you’d all better get working out for your brain’s sake!!
When we talk about “exercising your mind” or a workout for your brain we’re not talking Sudoku puzzles! We’re looking at different ways to challenge your current exercise routine to get your brain thinking more! Recently I took a variation of a plank and added extra bits to it in order to purposely achieve this challenge (and to make the plank harder of course!). You start in the half plank position (on your elbows) and come up to your hands; you now bring in your right knee and touch it with your left hand, and then bring in your left knee and touch it with your right hand, and then return to your elbows. Yes the plank is harder (it’s harder to balance for a start), but you also have to slow the move down and think about what you’re doing (otherwise you’d get hands and knees confused and fall over!).
Luckily you don’t really have to over complicate your exercise routine to achieve your brain workout! A number of articles (some listed below) advise doing the following:
- Take a walk in the park! Good for attention, focus and memory
- Try Tai Chi! Get back in touch with your senses.
- Do cardio! It helps improve your memory and verbal learning
- Try out the plank variation listed above! Apparently, adding a balance and coordination challenge to what we’d class as a standard move, improves your decision-making abilities.
In the great words of the 1993 classic by U.S.U.R.A. “open your mind”. It’s never too early or too late to start making your brain better! If you’re not doing any of the above, start adding them to your weekly routine.